Specifically, Hesketh has, by her own admission, developed “a bit of an obsession with laser harps” and is hell-bent on acquiring one.
“Laser harps?,” you cry. “Wouldn’t such an instrument, if it really existed, be inclined to cut short a musician’s career? Especially a keyboard player? Hands being a pretty standard part of the package and all.”
It turns out the laser harp already exists, it’s totally safe (well, as safe as a spatially coherent, narrow, low-divergence beam of light in the electromagnetic spectrum manipulated by lenses can be, anyway), and New Age icon Jean Michel Jarre has been using one for years.
As a matter of fact, that’s exactly where Little Boots got the idea. In a post detailing her new project on her Web site, the singer recommends fans unclear on the concept check out YouTube for videos of Jarre with his very own laser harp. Here’s one of the multi-instrumentalist tearing it up in Göteborg, Sweden earlier this year.
Nifty, huh? Unfortunately, Hesketh has discovered that wanting a laser harp is much easier than owning a laser harp, so she’s set out to build one.
“This task was a lot more difficult than imagined,” the singer said. “Surprisingly they do not sell them at Argos [kind of a U.K. version of Walmart] … so I have talked to and had help from lots of different lovely people and it looks like we are almost there. Hopefully it will be ready for action for the gigs later this month.
“It’s been a rollercoaster of a quest but we were lucky enough to have some very talented people follow me around with a camera on my mission, and have made some little films which we will be posting … I really hope you are all as excited about this as I am, if not that’s okay…you’re probably just a bit more sane.”
If you’re as intrigued as I am by just how one puts together a musical instrument using highly focused – and potentially dangerous – beams of light, you can check out the first film and then follow Little Boots’ progress as she posts others in the members’ section of her Web site. (You’ll have to register to watch the clips, but it’s free.)
Listen to cuts from Little Boots’ debut Hands – out now in the U.K. and early next year in the U.S. – watch videos for singles “New In Town” and “Remedy,” get the latest news on upcoming live dates and keep track of Hesketh’s progress in her quest to construct a laser harp at LittleBootsMusic.co.uk. (I’m just wondering where the sharks fit in.)